Is really a problem of not regaining lost weight. It's sometimes hard to lose weight, but the hardest part for me is definitely keeping the weight off. It creeps back, time and time again. I've been doing this cycle my entire life and I am always looking for the knowledge that will help break that cycle. I think it's starting to become clear...
I've been reading a number of stories in recent months about the problem of keeping the weight off once it's gone, and in some ways the news is really not good. Did you know:
Once you've lost weight, you need ~300 calories less per day than someone who has not dieted?
Once you've lost weight, your muscles are burning ~20-25% fewer calories during exercise than someone who has not lost weight?
Once you've lost weight, you think about food more and have less resistance to it?
Your body will really want to regain those pounds! And it will be years, if ever, before your body is over the weight loss and ready to stay at that lower weight.
(Sorry if this is depressing!)
Reading these has made me understand a little better why I have always regained weight after a loss... and while it bummed me out at first, it's also making it easier for me to forgive myself for having backslid... and preparing me better for the fight to keep the weight off (when I get there). Knowledge is power!
Knowing about these recent findings helps me formulate an approach that I hope will work both for losing and for maintaining... I'm going to figure out where I want to be, what the "non-dieting" person would need calorie-wise to maintain that, and then subtract about 300 calories (while underestimating what exercise is supposed to burn by ~20-25%). And that will be my calorie goal forever and ever. Probably too simplistic, but it sounds reasonable at the moment.
I've actually always thought that "eating for the body I want and then letting my goal be where I stop losing weight naturally" was an idea worth exploring... I think this is kinda the same thing.
Sometimes I just want to stop trying, and the thought that I'll have to be trying for years and years in order to be successful kinda stinks... but the thought of just giving in to being overweight is also not that fun. Pick yer poison, right?